MICHELLE VARINATA WRITES – Picture a world of rainbows , puppy dogs and smiling children running through rose-scented gardens. Sure, it’s a dream. But for some, even imagining such a scene could prove impossible, so harsh is their reality. As one of the world’s most family-oriented societies, Indonesia prioritizes family…Full Article INDONESIA: Overcoming Adversity One Step at a Time
MICHELLE VARINATA WRITES – Poverty and wealth; primitive and modern; religious and secular. Indonesia is Asia’s most enigmatic (and somewhat bi-polar) nation filled with socio-economic contradictions. Despite the disparity in wealth, the country has one thing that bonds everyone from all walks of life: technology. Recently, Indonesia has built a…Full Article INDONESIA: Asia’s New Tech Hub?
MICHELLE VARINATA WRITES – Somewhere in the Twitterverse, Felix Siauw, a young Muslim religious motivational speaker, tweets: “These days many Muslim women take selfies without shame. There are usually nine frames in one photo with facial poses that are just – my goodness – where’s the purity in women?” (Translated from…Full Article INDONESIA: Commandment #11- Thou Shalt Not Take a Selfie
MICHELLE VARINATA WRITES – With a license to drive and big birthday plans, nothing is more blissful than being 16. Throw in a wedding ring and all of a sudden, being 16-years-old is equivalent to being an adult. Welcome to Indonesia, a country where children as young as 16 can legally…Full Article INDONESIA: Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman
MICHELLE VARINATA WRITES – With an affable personality and Obama-like charm, Joko Widodo nonetheless appears to have fallen from grace after a mere 100 days in office. The Indonesian president, called “Jokowi” by his loving supporters, got into trouble over the proposed appointment of a new head of the National…Full Article INDONESIA: “No We Can’t!”- Jokowi’s Popularity Hits a Bump
MICHELLE VARINATA WRITES – Not a single person thinks that being Chinese and Christian in a homogeneously Muslim majority will make history in Indonesia’s political sphere. Basuki Tjahaja Purnarma, otherwise known as Ahok, is Jakarta’s first governor of Chinese descent. While Jokowi has already left his position as Governor of…Full Article INDONESIA: And God Said…Let There Be a Chinese-Christian Governor!
MICHELLE VARINATA WRITES – “Indonesia waives visa requirements!” With Asia One’s screaming headline, the recent passing of Indonesia’s visa requirement law pertains to only five countries: South Korea, Russia, Australia, China and Japan. Tourists from these five countries will be given visa-free travel by the Indonesian government. While this handful…Full Article INDONESIA: No More Visas?!
MICHELLE VARINATA WRITES – In the eyes of international media, Indonesia is well-known for receiving a barrage of bad rap for its flawed handling of environmental issues. Recently, however, the Indonesian authorities have taken this criticism to heart and have decided to tackle the problem of illegal manta ray trading. The…Full Article INDONESIA: Mercy for the Manta Rays